Case Study

The 5Cs of Leadership


Schools are incredibly busy places, and every now and then it is important that leaders (at all levels) take time to stop and reflect on the journey so far, the actions they have taken, and their impact.  Whilst leading such a session this week (helped by my trusty felt-tip pens, paper and sticky notes), I was privileged to hear an account of inspiring, unassuming leadership that, to my eyes at least, can be captured in just 5Cs.

  1. Care – this HT cared passionately about everyone in the school community – pupils, parents, teachers, grandparents, and local people.  Visitors to the school commented on the warm and welcoming atmosphere (as did I).  Staff talked about feeling valued and being regularly thanked.
  2. Clarity –  every action in this school has a clear purpose, and both the HT and the staff knew exactly WHY they were doing things.  Having supported the T&L leader to write a learning policy using Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ approach, which emphasises starting with WHY, I was very pleased to hear this!
  3. Can-do – No problem, big or small, is too much for this HT.  Her motto seems to be ‘right, let’s deal with it’.  Her outlook is optimistic and her belief in the whole of the school community is positively palpable.  Many leaders would drive through changes with fear or power, but not this leader.  Her decision-making is backed by her belief in people’s potential, coupled with the fact that, as I’ve said above, she obviously cares about and values those around her.  
  4. Consistency – it was clear to me that a seam of consistency ran through lots of the discussions taking place at the school – consistency of approach, expectations, staff and much more.  Many things have been put into place that provide structure for the pupils, parents and staff, which makes the school a calm and safe place to be.
  5. Courage – the challenges faced by this particular leader are huge, and to tackle them (especially as a young leader) takes great courage.  Lao Tzu once said ‘From caring comes courage’.  Well, given this lady cares so much and is so passionate about her new school, perhaps Lao Tzu is right!

I really was in awe of this leader as I left for the day, and have been basking in the glow of her inspiration ever since.  I’ve also been applying the 5Cs to my challenges, and I am sure that it’s going to pay off very soon.

With thanks to Rimah Aasim, Worth Valley Primary School for her time.


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